Gujarat Watershed Management Project: providing a sustainable solution to water scarcity

The Watershed Management Project of the Government of Gujarat aims to provide a sustainable solution to the problem of water scarcity in the state by adopting a participatory approach.

Gujarat is a drought prone state that suffers from water scarcity, a situation that required a long term sustainable solution. Within this context, the Government of Gujarat developed the Watershed Management Project (WMP) through an appropriate mix of technical innovations and participatory approach.

This project was carried out by a five tier authority system – centre, state, district, project, and village. To get optimum benefits from this project, areas were targeted and prioritised on the basis of 13 parameters such as moisture index, groundwater status and drinking water situation in the area. The funds for WMP were also allocated on a priority basis. The process of watershed management uses ICT tools like GIS, MIS and satellite imagery for monitoring and evaluation. The project aims at sustainable development of the environment, society and human capital. This has resulted in an increase in income and standard of living.

The success of this project was due to collaborative and concerted efforts of government departments, research institutes and non-governmental organisations. Inhabitants have benefited from this project in terms of improved soil and water conservation and an increase in agricultural productivity. Owing to the large scale of the project, it faced various challenges which were addressed by the introduction of new common guidelines in 2008 for watershed management and the Integrated Watershed Management Programme in 2009-10. The project’s impact has widely been recognised through the Prime Minister’s Award for excellence in Public Administration in 2010-11.

The case study was published in July 2012.

Download File